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How E-Learning is Making Education Affordable and Accessible in India?

Digital education is breaking uncountable barriers by ensuring the availability of affordable and accessible learning even in rural areas

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E-Learning, Education, Affordable
The growing demand for quality education and skill-based learning have waved the green flag for online learning. Pixabay

India is witnessing a digital revolution and with ~500 million people within the age bracket of 5-24 years, there are immense growth opportunities for the Indian education sector (source – IBEF). The growing demand for quality education and skill-based learning have waved the green flag for online learning. Digital education is breaking uncountable barriers by ensuring the availability of affordable and accessible learning even in rural areas. Engaging and interactive content delivered by professional instructors makes it easy for students to skip geographically bound classrooms and enjoy self-paced learning.

UGC has now permitted higher educational institutions in the country to offer Certificate, Diploma, and Degree Programmes in online mode to the students in the University Grants Commission (Online Courses) Regulations, 2018. With such a reform, it is evident that the benefits served by online learning have convinced even the government to take relevant actions for its betterment.

Here is how online learning helps in educating the masses while achieving its 2 major goals of accessibility and affordability over traditional learning.

Accessibility

E-Learning, Education, Affordable
India is witnessing a digital revolution and with ~500 million people within the age bracket of 5-24 years, there are immense growth opportunities for the Indian education sector (source – IBEF). Pixabay

Digitalisation in India led to the development of technologies such as ‘Direct to Device’ which are empowering students to study through any device at any time. A much-developed aspect of online learning is M-learning where students can access the training content on their mobile phones anywhere. Now, getting 75% attendance marked on the teacher’s register is not essential to get a job; however, being 100% skilled is the pre-requisite for the same. E-learning ensures uniformity in the syllabus so that global disparities can be narrowed down.

Generally, online training platforms deliver content which features a combination of text, demonstrative videos, and presentations. Students who enrol in these trainings have their own dashboard which allows them to access the training content and monitor their own progress whenever they want. All the doubts are cleared through forum query/doubt solving box, avoiding students’ dependence on teachers. Its accessibility has helped education reach even in the remote corners of the country, where teachers hesitate to enter because of fewer remunerations. Not only students but even working professionals are benefitting from online trainings as they can upskill and explore new skills along with their existing job and other responsibilities. 

Affordability

The biggest issue that students face in India is the lack of opportunities and resources. While some of them discontinue their studies due to monetary issues, others quit as they cannot find desired courses within their cities. Students who are interested to learn in-demand courses such as data science, Python, machine learning, etc. usually face difficulty as traditional coaching centres aren’t well equipped to teach such courses. Relocating to another city for study requires economic stability which everyone does not possess. In such cases, e-learning comes to the rescue as it does not ask you to travel anywhere to reach your education institution. Above that, students can simply avoid what they have to pay for books, parking, infrastructure, practical labs, and equipment in traditional institutions. There is no strictness in terms of reaching the class on time, which in turn help the learners to continue with their work schedule and manage their expenses. 

Also Read- Hypocrisies of Malala and her Party Exposed

Containing various modules and interactive forms of audio-visual teaching, online trainings have simplified the overall learning journey. While being affordable and accessible, e-learning allows students to save more hours, instils a feeling of self-belief, and encourages them to learn with the purpose of acquiring job-specific skills. 

Courtesy: Internshala Trainings (trainings.internshala.com) – an online training platform. 

Next Story

Focus on Menstrual Health Improving Education for Girls in Zambia

Chitentabunga Primary School, in rural Lusaka province, is one of the schools that has received reusable pads to distribute to its students

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Menstrual, Health, Zambian
FILE - Girls learn to make sanitary pads from imported water-proof materials in project sponsored by the Malawi NGO, Girls Empowerment Network (VOA / L. Masina) VOA

New health classes and government partnerships with not-for-profits focused on menstrual health are improving education for girls in Zambia.

In 2017, the government announced it would distribute free sanitary pads to girls in some rural and underserved areas. Two years later, menstrual hygiene management classes have been introduced in schools, and partnerships with organizations such as World Vision have brought reusable sanitary pads to rural communities.

Chitentabunga Primary School, in rural Lusaka province, is one of the schools that has received reusable pads to distribute to its students.

Educators at Chitentabunga say the pads have helped reduce absenteeism. In years past, 80 to 100 girls would miss classes at any given time due to menstrual issues across seven schools. Now, just five to 10 girls are out at any given time.

Menstrual, Health, Zambian
In 2017, the government announced it would distribute free sanitary pads to girls in some rural and underserved areas. Pixabay

“We used to have a lot of absenteeism, especially in mature girls, that is, girls that have started their menstrual periods. At a time when they go on their menstrual periods, these girls used to stay away from school,” Tyson Hachilangu, head teacher at Chitentabunga, said.

Girls at the school say the pads have improved their quality of life.

“Before this program was introduced, we used ordinary clothes, which would cause bruises. But now, the school gives us pads, and we also have a special bathroom where girls can go and clean up, in case she soils herself at school,” Choolwe Susu, a pupil at the school, said.

She added that the new resources have reduced the shame and teasing associated with menstruation.

Also Read- Experts Emphasize the Need to Work with Nature to Save Asia’s ‘Disappearing Deltas’

“Previously, boys used to laugh at girls who soil themselves at school, and this used to [cause] girls on menses to stay away from school. But now we can come to school, even on menses, because menstruation is normal for women, and without it there would be no humanity,” she said.

The program has also helped teach girls about pads, and schools have instituted policies to give girls space to practice proper hygiene.

“We are taught about pads. There are two types of pads. A pad is one that you wear with a pant, while a padden is one you wear without a pant. And if you spoil yourself, you have the right to tell your teacher, who will give you a pad, water and soap to clean yourself in the special bathroom,” Cnythia Choono, another pupil at Chitentabunga, said.

Zambia’s president, Edgar Lungu, told VOA the country intends to keep advocating for girls. “We want to cut down on early marriages,” he said. “We went to avoid maternal death.”

Menstrual, Health, Zambian
Two years later, menstrual hygiene management classes have been introduced in schools, and partnerships with organizations such as World Vision. Pixabay

So far, partnerships like the one with World Vision that brought interventions to Chitentabunga appear to be working. That could become a model for similar kinds of real-world impacts.

Also Read- Poor Posture can Lead to Chronic Pain

“We have a responsibility to work with members of the community,” Lungu said. (VOA)